Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April 2017

In This Issue
Korean Seniors Program

The Korean Seniors Program offers Korean seniors ( 55 years of age or older) in Franklin County with public assistance and culturally appropriate support services.

To learn more about the program or if you have any question, please contact Daniel "Danny" Nam at x 223.

ESL Spring Quarter
Starting April 10, 2017

10 am - 12 noon
Mondays (Beginner Level)
Tuesdays (Intermediate Level)
Wednesdays (Intermediate Level)
Thursdays (Advanced Level)

For more information, please call AACS for more information: 614-220-4023 x.230
Join AACS for our Minority Health Month 2017 Events!

With the support of the Ohio Commission on Minority Health, AACS will be hosting a series of workshops and a mini-health fair in recognition of Minority Health Month.

Event 1: Healthy Relationship Workshop
04/08/2017 10am - 12pm

Event 2: Colon Cancer Awareness Workshop
04/29/2017 10am - 12pm

Event 3: Mini-Health Fair
04/08/2017&04/29/2017 10am - 12pm
Health screenings, health education booths, and more!

Location: Tree of Life Conference Center
5000 Arlington Centre Blvd
Columbus, OH 43220

Please RSVP to Chin-Yin Shih (614-220-4023 x224/
New American Forum 2017  
Save the date 2017 and invitation in one.png    
5/10/17 (Wed) 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM EDT

The Columbus Athenaeum
32 North 4th Street
Columbus, OH 43215

This is a FREE event but please register HERE.

About the New American Advisory CouncilThe New American Advisory Council is a coalition of organizations, individuals, and neighbors committed to raising awareness and promoting integration through community engagement. Come learn how you can help in the development of a connected community that values diversity as we build a calendar of events designed to welcome, engage, and empower our region's newest Americans and our neighbors from abroad. AACS is a member of the Advisory Council.
Women's Quilting Group  
Thursdays, 1pm-3pm @AACS

This project seeks to connect women, share stories of  courage, create beauty, and move towards healing in our lives with one another. 

All craft supplies will be provided, and take-home kits will be available. The group will be hosted at AACS (4700 Reed Rd., Suite B, Columbus Ohio, 43220).

To learn more about our quilting group or are interested in attending, please contact our Program Coordinator, Yihong Dong at  or 614-220-4023 x 100 .
Ikebana Classes:
Japanese Art of Flower Arrangement
Mondays, 2pm-3pm or 3:15pm-4:15pm

Our current classes are full.
Please stay tuned for sign-ups in our next series.

To learn more about our Ikebana classes or are interested attending, contact our Program Coordinator,  Yihong Dong at
or 614-220-4023 x 100.
Senior Benefits Program

If you have questions about:
-Medicare Part A, B, & D
-Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs)
-(Medicare Part D) Extra Help
-Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)
-Food Stamp Program (SNAP)
-Cash Assistance
-Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
-Homestead Exemption for property tax
-Golden Buckeye Card
-AT&T Lifeline
-Free Clinic
-Other related questions

Please contact  Yihong Dong at  614-220-4023 x100 or
Ohio Business and Career Expo

5/17/2017  9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Ohio Expo Center, Cardinal Hall
717 E. 17th Ave., Columbus, Ohio 43211
Free Health  Consultation

The second Sunday afternoon, every month
12:45pm - 1:30pm

Columbus Chinese Christian Church
4141 Maize Rd, Columbus, OH 43224

For more information, please contact: Changcheng Zhao, 614-715-2212

Lao Volunteer Donation Association:
Monthly Provisions Giveaway
2017 Produce Market Dates

Saturday, 04/15/17- 10:00 am-1:00 pm

1160 Alum Creek Drive
Columbus, OH 43209

 Please call 614-506-1167 or 614-252-5786 to confirm.
Families living at or below the Federal Poverty Line are eligible to receive free produce. Please bring a bag to carry away your goods.
Apply to Join the AG's Teen Ambassador Board

The Ohio Attorney General's Teen Ambassador Board is now accepting applications for the 2017-2018 academic year. The mission of the board is to empower Ohio's future leaders with knowledge about how government works and to strengthen their ability to develop leadership. 

It is open to Ohio high school students who will be juniors or seniors during the upcoming academic year and are interested in law and government. Students from public, private, home, charter, and online schools are all welcome. 

All selected members will serve a one-year term during which they convene twice in Columbus, propose solutions to issues, and have a great opportunity to meet with officials. 

Asian Americans are underrepresented at all levels of government. AACS encourages API youth to apply to let the voices of our communities be heard! 

Check out the Attorney General's website for more information. The deadline is May 31, 2017. You can apply here
AACS's sexual assault services and production of related content in this newsletter were supported in part by subgrant No. 02560272SA0117 awarded by the state administering office for the SASP Formula Grant Program. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the state or the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.


Raising Sexual Assault Awareness in API Communities

FSP Senior Program Manager Chin-Yin Shih trains AACS staff, interpreters, volunteers, and others on sexual assault.

Some issues are more difficult to talk about than others. Sexual assault is one of the more challenging topics to address, particularly in the Asian/Pacific Islander (API) community. Sexual assault awareness in API communities tend to be low, and API communities disproportionately endorse myths about rape, such as the myth that victims are "asking for it." They are less likely to believe and report incidences of sexual violence due to language and cultural barriers, and Asian immigrant women tend not to receive preventive care and treatment services.

Chin-Yin Shih, Senior Program Manager for the Family Support Program (FSP) at AACS, hopes that we can slowly change this trend through tailored outreach efforts to different ethnic communities. Every year, AACS has been working to enhance our work on sexual assault to reach community members and change perceptions about the issue in Central Ohio API communities so that more survivors can connect with the services they need.

AACS recognizes both the need to support survivors and to raise awareness on issues related to sexual assault in API communities. FSP staff provide a broad range of support to survivors including case management services, court accompaniment, referrals to legal services and counseling, and medical advocacy. The program recently started to train staff in other programs, interpreters, interns, and volunteers on how to recognize signs of sexual assault and respond appropriately within their roles, so that potential survivors can connect to the services they may need. FSP staff also actively engage in prevention efforts, training its own personnel and working with community leaders to educate members of various API communities.

Like other agencies that work in sexual assault services, AACS observes Sexual Assault Awareness Month every April. In 2001, the U.S. observed April as national Sexual Assault Awareness Month for the first time. Since then, April became a time for month-long campaigns to raise public awareness about sexual assault and to advocate prevention efforts. Educating communities and individuals on the risks of the issue is the core of promoting public health.

Sexual assault is defined as any non-consens ual sexual contacts, both actions and words, with someone, regardless of the presence of relationship or marriage. In the U.S., approximately half of women have experienced some forms of sexual violence, while one in 10 women has been raped by an intimate partner in her lifetime. Almost 25% of men have had unwanted sexual contact or experience. On average, there are 321,500 victims (age 12 and older) of rape and sexual assault each year in the U.S.

Anyone, of any gender and any age, can be vulnerable to sexual assault at any time. However, certain groups are more vulnerable than others. 43.3% of heterosexual women and 20.8% of heterosexual men reported sexual violence other than rape during their lifetimes. In comparison, homosexual and bisexual persons of both genders are exposed to much higher risk (with 46.4% of lesbians, 40.2% of gay men, 74.9% of bisexual women, and 47.4% of bisexual men reporting this type of violence). Youth and children are another group vulnerable to sexual abuse as well. On campus, one in five women and one in 16 men experience sexual assault. In terms of child abuse, 34% of people who sexually abuse a child are family members, making many children vulnerable to abuse within their own homes.
Sexual assault can impact survivors physically, emotionally, behaviorally, cognitively, and socially. In addition to physical harm, about 81% of women and 35% of men report significant short-term or long-term impacts on such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). These mental health issues can lead to severe consequences that further damage their daily routines and life performance.

Yet, it is common for the media to focus on the impact of the charges and sentences on the lives and reputations of the perpetrators. The lifelong impact of the perpetrator's actions on the victim is often absent from the coverage. As Emily Doe, the victim of the infamous Stanford rape case in 2016, said in a letter to her attacker, "Ruin a life, one life, yours, you forgot about mine...Your damage was concrete; stripped of titles, degrees, enrollment. My damage was internal, unseen, I carry it with me. You took away my worth, my privacy, my energy, my time, my safety, my intimacy, my confidence, my o wn voice, until today."

One common misconception about sexual assault that survivors are not telling the truth because they struggle to remember details accurately or remember differently after a few days. Neurobiologically, fear circuitry that raises during traumatic experience can direct attention away from negative sensations of sexual assault, resulting in fragmented memories. As a matter of fact, the prevalence of false reporting for rape is between 2%-10%, which is quite low and comparable to the false reporting rates of most other crimes.
In fact, it is under-reporting, not false reporting, that is a serious problem for sexual assault cases. Department of Justice's surveys and statistics show that approximately two-thirds of rapes go unreported. In API communities, survivors often don't seek support services not to mention not reporting to the authorities.

"Sexual assault is an issue that is not really addressed in Asian community," says Chin-Yin. "There are a couple barriers that keep victims/survivors from seeking help: they don't know how to access the services, they don't trust the systems or they feel shameful and don't want other people to know. We are providing training and education about what's consent, what to do when you experience sexual assault, community resources, etc. Hopefully we can slowly raise awareness and help those in need in the community."


1. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Crime Victimization Survey, 2010-2014 (2015).

2. James Hopper & David Lisak.  Why Rape and Trauma Survivors Have Fragmented and Incomplete Memories, (2014).

3. Jimenez, J.A., & Abreu, J.M. (2003). Race and sex effects on attitudinal perceptions of acquaintance rape. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 50(2), 252-256.

4. National Sexual Violence Resource Center,   Statistics About Sexual Violence.
Myths and Facts:
Get Educated on Sexual Assault

Myth: Women want to be raped/victims "ask for it." 
Fact: These are victim-blaming excuses that attempt to justify intentional aggression. The nature of sexual assault is the exercise of control over someone to engage in non-consensual sexual activity.

Myth: Victims provoke sexual assault because of their provocative behaviors or the way they dress. A person assumes the risk of sexual assault if he or she agrees to go to another's residence.
Fact : These statements obscure what is defined as crime, blaming victims for the sufferings imposed on them. It is never the victim's behavior that results in sexual assault.

Myth: Rapes are often committed by strangers.
Fact : Acquaintances and individuals known to the victim account for most attempted or completed sexual assaults. Victims tend to identify people who they know as non-threatening.

Myth: Men cannot be sexually assaulted.
Fact: Men  can be sexually assaulted and experience severe trauma.
AACS Staff Educate Central Ohio Communities

Daniel "Danny" Nam, HAY Program Manager, with students from the Linden STEM Academy School. He spent two days there teaching 6 classes of elementary students about Korean culture.

Danny collaborated with George Hicks, a Prevention Services Specialist for the Maryhaven Gambling Intervention Program, to provide cultural competency training at the 2017 Ohio Problem Gambling Conference. Danny's presentation focused on gambling culture in Asian communities.

On March 10, 2017, Chin-Yin Shih, AACS's FSP Senior Program Manager, gave a presentation on serving clients from Asian cultural backgrounds at an undergraduate class at The Ohio State University College of Social Work. The purpose of this presentation was to equip future social workers with cultural competency to serve in an ethnically diverse environment. As one of the two speakers, Chin-Yin spent an hour discussing Asian culture as well as basic concepts of working with clients of Asian backgrounds.

Asian communities are often viewed as a culturally homogenous group. To overcome this stereotype, Chin-Yin talked about the inherent cultural diversity within Asian countries in terms of geographic origins, which were East Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia. She detailed the core values that lay in Asian cultures such as family and relationship, alluding to their differences from western cultures.

"They might have Asian clients they can work with," Chin-Yin said. "It would increase their knowledge of Asian population and provide them with cultural sensitivity."

She also shared her own experience helping Asian clients at AACS, introducing the comprehensive services and programs AACS offered. The information she provided would help the students understand how to treat Asian people in a culturally and socially appropriate manner.
Healthy Asian Youth:
Early 2017 Highlights

HAY participants at the Taste of OSU, a campus-based event that assembles cultural performance, exhibition, and international food.

HAY participants representing Phnom Penh Cambodia at the Taste of OSU.

HAY participants showcasing their talents at the Chinese Culture Show.
HAY participants showcasing their talents at the 2017 Chinese Culture Show.
Volunteers Needed!!!
AACS is seeking committed volunteers who can help support our programs!! We have a particular need in our civic engagement program. To learn more about our programs and overview of volunteer opportunities, check out our website or contact Asafu Suzuki (
614-220-4023 x240, Inquiries regarding unpaid internships (both summer and during the semester) are also welcome.

To volunteer for our Healthy Asian Youth (HAY) program, please contact Franchesca Brown (216-732-1570,

If you are interested in volunteering for our Asian Festival booth or joining our team for this year's Dragon Boat Race, please contact Chin-Yin Shih (614-220-4023 x224,